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A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Catholic, with Asperger's, who reads and writes as her obsession. These are the ramblings of the books I read.

I sometimes go through stages of "genre love", I'm addicted to mystery thrillers, Catholic theology, memoirs, 20th century Chinese historical fiction & Victorian fiction and non-fiction, but you'll find I read an even wider variety of books than that, both fiction and non-fiction. I have a teensy fascination with macabre non-fiction books about death and anything about insane asylums.

I also tend to post a lot of reviews of juvenile/teen books, with a nod towards what parents can expect to find that might or might not be objectionable.

I also blog about graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

193. tales from outer suburbia


tales from outer suburbia by shaun tan

Pages: 95
Finished: Dec. 27, 2008
First Published: Oct. 28 (Can), Feb. 1 (USA)
Genre: short stories, adult picture book, YA
Rating: 4/5
Reason for Reading: received a review copy from the publisher .

First sentence:


when I was a kid, there was a big water buffalo living in the vacant lot at the end of our street, the one with the grass no one ever mowed.


Comments: This is a beautiful, picture book of short stories. The publisher promotes it as juvenile literature but I found the stories immensely deep and could not imagine a child appreciating the full depth of each story. Some stories are one page long, some are several pages long but each is profusely illustrated in full colour by the fantastic shaun tan. The illustrations are not just there to illustrate the story but are an integral part of the story, in fact one story has several pages of wordless illustration to propel the story along. Some of the stories are about children but certainly not all of them, one for example is about a couple about to be married.

I enjoyed each story but would classify them as strange and quirky. Each tells a rather bizarre tale that the reader finds themselves looking deeper for the message or reading between the lines for what is really happening. The artwork is amazing and there are several spreads of collage art, which as a practitioner myself, I found highly appealing. I would recommend this to those who enjoy bizarre short stories and those who enjoy graphic novels. Even though this is not a graphic novel, I found the same elements present of text and illustrations working hand in hand. Really, a delightful quick read.
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